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Geoffrey Howard Bourne (1909–1988)

by Alister Hughes

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada (AP) _ Dr. Geoffrey Bourne, internationally-known nutritionist and histologist, has died at the age of 79. 

Bourne, who was vice-chancellor of the St. George’s University School of Medicine in the Caribbean island of Grenada, died Tuesday at the coronary care unit of New York’s Bellevue Hospital, where he was admitted two weeks ago, a spokesman for the university said. 

The Australian-born doctor was widely published and wrote several books, including ″Nutrition and the War″ (1941) and ″Starvation in Europe″ (1943), the latter of which was included in the British Imperial War Museum as an historical document at the request of the Duke of Gloucester. He was also founder and editor of the ″World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics″ and the ″International Review of Cystology.″ 

Bourne was a demonstrator in physiology at Oxford University from 1938 to 1947 and during World War II served as a member of the British Special Operations Executive in charge of biomedical research for the Special Forces in southeast Asia with the rank of major. 

In 1945 and 1946 he was chairman of the Pan Malayan Nutrition Council, which was in charge of assessing Malaya’s food needs after the Japanese surrender. 

Between 1948 and 1957 he was professor of histology at the University of London and later went on to become professor and chairman of anatomy at Emroy University Medical School in Atlanta, Ga. 

In conjunction with these responsibilitiee, in 1962 he became director of the Yerkes Primate Research Center at Emroy, a post he held until he joined the St. George’s University School of Medicine in 1977 as vice-chancellor. He was also a professor of nutrition at St. George’s. 

Bourne held the degrees of bachelor of science, master of science and doctor of science from the University of Western Australia. He also held the degree of doctor of philosophy from Oxford University. 

He held the honorary title of professor of health at Georgia University, and was a fellow of the Institute of Biology in England, of the Zoological Society of London and of the American Society of Gerontology. He was also a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine for more than half a century. 

Bourne is listed in such publications as ″Who’s Who,″ ″International Who’s Who,″ ″Who’s Who in America,″ ″International Who’s Who of Intellectuals,″ ″Who’s Who in the Commonwealth,″ ″Two Thousand Notable Americans,″ ″The Directory of Distinguished Americans″ and ″Men of Achievement.″ 

Funeral services for Bourne will be held in Atlanta, Ga., and a memorial service will be held in Grenada.

* — accessed 14 July 2022

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

Alister Hughes, 'Bourne, Geoffrey Howard (1909–1988)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


17 November, 1909
Perth, Western Australia, Australia


19 July, 1988 (aged 78)
Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

Cause of Death

heart disease

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Military Service
Key Organisations